Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Remembering Cliff Hunt

Harry Stimpson photo

Clifford Hunt, a genuine old horseman and a passionate foxhunter, passed away on December 2, 2010 at age eighty-four. I can’t begin to tally the number of individuals whose lives this man changed. He was a teacher who created many dedicated foxhunters. He was a hosteller, and, with his wife and partner Laura, he provided visiting foxhunters with bed, meals, hirelings, and transport at his well-known Hunting Box in Boyce, Virginia for twenty-six years (1978–2004). Sportsmen came to The Hunting Box from Canada and all the northern states to experience foxhunting in Virginia. Many loved it so much they moved here.

Jim Meads Photographs His 500th Hunt

Douglas Lees photo

Sporting photographer Jim Meads achieved a personal milestone and undoubtedly established a world record on December 5, 2010 when he photographed the Loudoun West Hunt near Leesburg, Virginia. This was the five hundredth unique hunt that Meads has photographed over the course of a career spanning sixty years.

Meads, who lives in Wales, follows hunts on foot and in vehicles and always seems to appear where the action is, even before the mounted followers arrive. His long legs and astounding endurance has allowed him to capture many of the greatest action shots of foxhunting ever recorded on film. He has photographed hunts in England, Ireland, Canada, and the U.S.

Jim Meads: Loudoun Hunt West Makes Five Hundred

Douglas Lees photo

When the Loudoun Hunt West hounds meet on Sunday, December 5 at Dr. Jim Gable’s Valley View Farm, it will represent a world record setting milestone for both the hunt and for renowned sporting photographer Jim Meads. Loudoun West will become the five hundredth individual pack that Meads will have photographed over the course of his long and illustrious career. Well-wishers are invited to attend the meet and the hunt breakfast to follow.

A reception the evening prior to the meet will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, December 4 at Buchanan Hall, 8549 John Mosby Highway, Upperville, VA. All friends and well-wishers are invited to that affair as well. The cost for the reception is $20.00 per person.

A poster honoring Jim Meads will be given out at the reception and at the meet. Jim will be available to sign your poster.

If you wish to attend either the Saturday night reception or the Sunday hunt breakfast, RSVP your intention to Gia Anderson at 703-777-2414. Or write and mail your check for the reception to Museum of Hounds and Hunting NA, Morven Park, 17263 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg, VA 20176, Att: Jim Meads Event.

For more information, call Marion Maggiolo at 540-347-3141.
November 21, 2010

Melvin at Ninety

Melvin Poe celebrating his ninetieth birthday
Douglas Lees photo

Hounds were screaming, and the huntsman was cooking. A cattle guard loomed ahead—a coop to the left and a gate to the right. The huntsman veered left.

"Melvin," someone yelled, "the gate’s on the right!"

"Melvin just kept kicking on, right over the coop," recalled Joe Conner, shaking his head and grinning in wonder.

Conner, who has whipped-in to Melvin for years at Bath County (VA), didn’t resurrect that story out of a distant past. It had happened only weeks before Melvin Poe’s ninetieth birthday celebration.

A month or so earlier, I had recognized the same notes of awe and wonder as I stood chatting with Brian Smith, my farrier, about Melvin’s upcoming ninetieth birthday.